The Almanac

By United Press International  |  Feb. 12, 2006 at 3:30 AM
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Today is Sunday, Feb. 12, the 43rd day of 2006 with 322 to follow.

The moon is full. The morning stars are Neptune, Jupiter, Pluto and Venus. The evening stars are Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Mercury.

Those born on this date are under the sign of Aquarius. They include philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1791; Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States, and biologist Charles Darwin, both in 1809; actor Lorne Greene in 1915; Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli in 1923 (age 83); baseball player and sports commentator Joe Garagiola in 1926 (age 80); actor Joe Don Baker in 1936 (age 70); author Judy Blume in 1938 (age 68); former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 1942 (age 64); actresses Maud Adams in 1945 (age 61) and Joanna Kerns in 1953 (age 53); actor Arsenio Hall in 1955 (age 51); singer Chynna Phillips in 1968 (age 38); and actress Christine Ricci in 1980 (age 26).

On this date in history:

In 1877, Alexander Graham Bell's new invention, the telephone, was publicly demonstrated with a hookup between Boston and Salem, Mass.

In 1953, the Soviet Union broke off relations with Israel after terrorists bombed the Soviet legation in Tel Aviv.

In 1973, with first release of U.S. prisoners of war in North Vietnam, 116 POWs were flown from Hanoi to the Philippines.

In 1980, the International Olympic Committee rejected a U.S. proposal to postpone or cancel the 1980 Summer Games or move the site from Moscow as a protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

In 1990, Donald Trump confirmed plans to divorce his wife, Ivana, touching off the battle over his fortune, estimated at $1.7 billion.

In 1992, a state of emergency was declared after the third winter storm to hit Southern California triggered mudslides and flooding. At least four people were killed.

In 1993, about 5,000 demonstrators marched on Atlanta's State Capitol to protest the Confederate symbol on the Georgia state flag.

In 1994, as the 17th Olympic Winter Games opened in Norway, the U.S. Olympic Committee agreed to allow Tonya Harding in the women's figure skating competition. She was accused of being involved in the assault on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan the month before.

In 1997, The Washington Post reported the Chinese government might have channeled money to the Democratic National Committee in order to influence the Clinton administration.

Also in 1997, South Korea announced that a secretary with North Korea's ruling Workers (Communist) Party had sought asylum at the South Korean consulate in Beijing, China. Hwang Jang Yop was the highest-level official to defect from North Korea.

In 1999, the U.S. Senate acquitted President Bill Clinton of impeachment charges.

In 2001, a NASA spacecraft landed on the asteroid EROS.

In 2002, the war crimes trial of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic began at the Hague in the Netherlands.

In 2003, CIA Director George Tenet said North Korea had an untested ballistic missile that could threaten the Western United States.

In 2004, South Korean scientists announced they had successfully created the world's first mature cloned human embryos.

Also in 2004, despite a state law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, San Francisco began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Thousands of couples applied.

In 2005, officials in Pakistan said the death toll from the past two weeks of torrential rains and snowstorms grew to 278. A broken dam washed away at least five villages, officials said.

Also in 2005, an American nun was shot and killed in Brazil's Amazon rainforest where she worked as a human rights activist, Brazilian officials said.

A thought for the day: M.G. Siriam said, "Looking at the proliferation of personal Web pages on the 'Net, it looks like very soon everyone on Earth will have 15 megabytes of fame."

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